Birmingham sign former Barcelona and AC Milan wonderkid Alen Halilovic – once hailed as ‘the next Luka Modric’ – on a free transfer
- Alen Halilovic, now 24, has signed a contract until the end of the 2020-21 season
- The attacking midfielder became the youngest ever player to debut for Croatia
- His deal with Italian giants AC Milan was ended by mutual consent in October
Birmingham City have signed former Barcelona and AC Milan midfielder Alen Halilovic on a free transfer.
Halilovic was once touted as one of Europe’s brightest prospects when he broke through for Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb.
He broke Mateo Kovacic’s record as the youngest league scorer and debuted for his country aged just 16, leading Barcelona to sign him on a five-year deal in 2014.
Alen Halilovic was signed by Spanish giants Barcelona on a five-year contract in 2014
Halilovic, who signed on a deal until June 2021, left AC Milan by mutual consent in October
The 24-year-old left Milan when his contract expired last month, and the Championship side have snapped him up on a free transfer for the rest of the season.
The 10-cap international left Barcelona despite helping his loan club Sporting Gijon stay in La Liga with five goals in 2016/17.
German side Hamburg signed him from the Catalan giants and loaned him out for 18 months to top-tier Spaniards Las Palmas.
Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka has snapped up midfielder Halilovic on a free transfer
AC Milan’s then-manager Gennaro Gattuso brought him to the San Siro in 2018, but successive loans to Standard Liege in Belgium and SC Heerenveen in Holland failed to convince them of his potential.
Dubrovnik-born Halilovic’s contract was therefore ended by mutual consent in October before Aitor Karanka’s 17th-placed Birmingham signed him on Sunday.
The 5ft 7in attacking midfielder will wear squad number 35, but will not be ready in time for Monday’s match against Luton.
Halilovic (right) became the youngest ever player to play for Croatia at the tender age of just 16